To create a fall-flavored Pumpkin French Toast Casserole, grab a couple cans of cinnamon rolls and soak them in a pumpkin-egg mixture. Then, top with a graham cracker crumb streusel for added crunch. Serve this over-the-top breakfast with maple syrup, and enjoy!
Easy Overnight Pumpkin Breakfast Bake
There are a lot of stellar breakfast recipes out there, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. That said, two of my all-time favorites are french toast and cinnamon rolls. So I thought to myself, how do I mash these two together for the ultimate fall breakfast?
The answer, of course, is this homemade Pumpkin French Toast Casserole. I’ll just acknowledge the obvious ahead of time – this breakfast is not exactly light on calories. But, some mornings, like holidays, you gotta start the day off on the right foot with a whole lot of sweetness. (And maybe some maple syrup on top, too, just for good measure!)
With that sorted, what exactly is pumpkin french toast casserole? Well, it starts with a base of canned cinnamon rolls that is then coated with a pumpkin-egg custard. A graham cracker crumb streusel is then sprinkled over the top of the casserole, which is finally baked to golden-brown perfection in the oven.
I’ll just leave it at that for now, so that you can dig in as soon as possible!
What You’ll Need
Obviously you’re going to need cinnamon rolls and graham crackers, but what else goes into this sweet breakfast casserole? Here are some notes on other important ingredients (see the recipe card below for the full list!):
- Cinnamon Rolls with Icing – I use Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, but any kind you like is fine. Save the icing to drizzle over the rolls at the end.
- Evaporated Milk – You can use regular milk or coconut milk instead if you want.
- Heavy Whipping Cream – This adds creaminess to the dish.
- Pumpkin Puree – Do not use pumpkin pie mix.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice – You can use a mix of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg if you would like.
- Butter – Real butter is best and it needs to be very cold.
- Pecans – Walnuts also work, or you can skip the nuts all together.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs – This helps by adding a nice ‘surprise’ crunch to the streusel.
- Nutmeg – I prefer to grate fresh nutmeg because it tastes so much better, but powdered is fine.
- Cloves – You don’t need much of this, a little bit adds a lot of flavor to the dish.
How to Make a Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
This easy french toast casserole is fast becoming a family favorite for a couple of reasons. First, it’s kind of like eating dessert for breakfast, which my kids (and us adults) LOVE. Second, it’s pretty easy to prep. You basically just combine the french toast ingredients, combine the streusel ingredients, and then add everything together. That oversimplifies it a little, but you’ll see in just a few seconds how easy it is!
And finally… it makes the kitchen smell amazing all day. There’s no need for air fresheners when you have a fragrant breakfast like this one to make the whole house smell like cinnamon-pumpkin goodness!
Here’s how you put this pumpkin breakfast bake together:
Prep the Baking Dish: Spray a 9-inch by 13-inch pan with non stick cooking spray. Place the quartered cinnamon roll pieces in the pan.
Create the Custard: In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining french toast ingredients and pour over the cinnamon roll pieces.
Let the Custard Soak into the Cinnamon Rolls: Cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes up to 24 hours.
Mix the Streusel Ingredients Together: In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and cut in the butter till crumbly. Add the remaining ingredients and gently mix. Store in the refrigerator till ready to use.
Preheat the Oven to 350°: Sprinkle the streusel over the French toast.
Bake the Casserole: Cover with tinfoil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove tinfoil and continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes. Check for doneness.
Serve and Enjoy: Remove and drizzle the icing from the cinnamon rolls over the french toast. Serve immediately with maple syrup.
Tips for Success
See what I mean about easy?
Plus, this breakfast counts as a make ahead meal because you can prep the french toast part on the night before you want to eat it. That way, you save time in the morning because breakfast is halfway done already. This makes it a perfect Thanksgiving breakfast idea!
Here are a couple more helpful tips to read through before you begin:
- Why Making It Ahead is Nice: If you make this the night before and let the custard soak into the rolls, it is better flavor-wise, but you don’t have to, it’s still delicious baked right away.
- Add the Streusel Right Before Baking: If you add the crumbs too soon, they could become soggy. It’s best to wait until right before you’re ready to put the casserole in the oven.
- If You Don’t Want to Use Cinnamon Rolls: You don’t have to use cinnamon rolls to make this casserole. You could also use stale slices/cubes of brioche bread or french bread to soak up the custard instead, like you would with a traditional french toast recipe. However, those cinnamon rolls really take this breakfast casserole to the next level!
- Make Extra Streusel: You can make extra streusel mix and keep the leftovers in the freezer to use on cakes, cobblers, etcetera.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
This pumpkin french toast casserole is best eaten immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat before serving by microwaving, or, for the best results, use the oven and bake until warmed through at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can I Freeze Extras?
Yes, you can! Leftover pumpkin french toast casserole can be saved in a couple of tight layers of plastic wrap (and one of aluminum foil, just to be safe), or in an airtight container. Once completely cooled, freeze for a month or so, and thaw in the fridge overnight before eating again.
Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
For the French Toast:
For the Streusel Topping:
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cubed
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup graham cracker crumbs, approx. 1 package lightly crushed
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
FOr the French Toast:
- Spray a 9-inch by 13-inch pan with non stick cooking spray. Place the quartered cinnamon roll pieces in the pan. (Save the cinnamon roll icing for later in the recipe.)
- In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining french toast ingredients and pour over the cinnamon roll pieces.
- Cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours before baking).
For the Streusel Topping:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and cut in the butter till crumbly.
- Add the remaining ingredients and gently mix. Store in the refrigerator till ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Sprinkle the streusel over the prepared French toast.
- Cover with tinfoil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove tinfoil and continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove and drizzle the icing from the cinnamon rolls over the french toast.
- Serve immediately with maple syrup!
More Breakfast Ideas
Looking for more easy breakfast bakes and breakfast ideas? If so, try out these ones:
- Overnight Bacon and Sausage Breakfast Casserole
- Low Carb Keto Pancakes
- Overnight Ham Breakfast Casserole
- Cinnamon Roll Waffles
- Maple Glazed Pumpkin Donuts
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